A – Usually offered during alternate years
CR/NC – Credit if course is passed; no credit if course is not passed
N – Not regularly offered
S – May be offered as a seminar
2-3 – Credit may vary between 2 and 3 credits
SK – Skills course
281. ELECTION LAW. 2-3 A S
This course examines the laws, regulations, and agencies that govern federal and state elections. Material covered includes the laws and cases that apply to election administration, campaign finance, the right to vote, representation and redistricting, partisan gerrymandering, bribery and corruption, judicial elections, ballot access, and ballot propositions. The course also examines the role of the Federal Election Commission and comparable state election agencies.
266. EMPLOYMENT LAW. 3
Course considers the legal relationships between employer and employee, primarily outside the union context. Material covered includes the establishment of the employment relationship; terms and conditions of employment; occupational safety, health and disabling injury, and illness; and termination of the employment relationship. An emphasis is placed on the application of casebook principles to practical problems, solutions, and strategies encountered in the practice of employment law.
519. ENTREPRENEURIAL/TRANSACTIONAL CLINIC. 4-6 CR/F
Students enrolled in the Entrepreneurial/Transactional Clinic will provide comprehensive legal services to business startups, entrepreneurs, and community nonprofit organizations to help establish successful “for profit” and nonprofit enterprises. The Clinic’s target clients include those entrepreneurs and business innovators, who are not able to afford retained legal counsel, and who are located in several underserved Des Moines neighborhoods.
An ET Clinic student will interview assigned clients about their specific business ideas and plans. Students will provide advice to the client about choice of entities and then draft the requisite organization documents for the client. Depending on the type of entity selected, the student will create articles of incorporation and bylaws, or LLC certificates of organization and operating agreements. A student may also evaluate a client’s need for the protection of the client’s intellectual property. This may trigger trademark or tradename registration with applicable state and federal agencies. Students also may furnish legal representation regarding common issues that confront small business owners, including, employment agreements and policies, Sub-S elections, leases, purchase agreements, financing arrangements, buy-sell agreements, and independent contractor agreements. The ET Clinic’s general mission is to afford students an opportunity to apply classroom legal doctrines to real life business ventures – and help each student develop basic practice skills for common “deal making” situations that will confront them as practicing lawyers. Prerequisite: Business Associations (LAW 204).
231. ENVIRONMENTAL LAW. 3
A study of federal and state laws designed to address the problems of air and water pollution, toxic substance, solid waste and hazardous waste disposal, and the political and social impediments to improvement of the environment.
626. ENVIRONMENTAL LAW INTERNSHIP. 2-3 CR/F
Students serve as interns with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources or the Environmental Division of the Iowa Attorney General's Office.
062. ENVIRONMENTAL PRACTICE. 3 A SK
The practice and procedure of environmental law with an exploration of several in-depth, substantive areas. Students study problems in environmental compliance and enforcement and complete exercises in client counseling, negotiation, and litigation against and on behalf of state and federal environmental agencies. Paper required. Prerequisite: Environmental Law (LAW 231).
312. ENVIRONMENTAL REGULATION OF AGRICULTURE. 3 S
A focus on the increasing application of environmental protection laws to agriculture with an emphasis on understanding how efforts to protect soil and water resources shape agricultural production. Subjects include the impact of farming on the environment; concepts of land stewardship; federal and state laws concerning areas such as agricultural land preservation, livestock feeding facilities, pesticide registration and use, and organic food protection; the impact of environmental liability on land transactions; and sustainable agriculture.
063. ESTATE PLANNING. 3-4 A SK
Principles from wills and trusts, property, insurance, taxation, and business associations are combined to form a unified plan for the disposition of a decedent's wealth. Estate, gift and generation skipping taxation will be discussed. Drafting of dispositive instruments is emphasized. Prerequisites: Wills and Trusts (LAW 223). Federal Income Tax (LAW 208). Note that Federal Estate & Gift Taxation will no longer be taught as a separate course, but this material will be included within Estate Planning.
399. ERISA. 2
ERISA will cover the fundamental requirements of, and the plans and programs covered by, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended (“ERISA”), including the reporting and disclosure requirements, participation and vesting, funding, the fiduciary responsibility requirements, administration and enforcement, penalties, the applicable provisions of the Internal Revenue Code, and guidance from the IRS, the Department of Labor (the “DOL”), and U.S. Government Accountability Office (the “GAO”), and plans covered by the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (the “PBGC”). The course would be designed to appeal to students who are interested in employee benefit plans and the roles of the IRS, DOL, GAO, and PBGC in the regulation of ERISA. Guest lecturers from the government may participate in the course.
114. ETHICS AND PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITY (LEGAL). 3
Study of the legal profession and lawyers' organizations, including codes of ethics and conduct rules that make up the law governing lawyers. The role of lawyers in society, regulation of the practice of law, and the jurisprudence of lawyer licensing and discipline cases are examined.
603. ETHICS INTERNSHIP. 1-3 CR/F
Students are placed with the Iowa Board of Professional Ethics and Conduct. Interns work on all phases of complaints, performing fact finding, research, and assisting prosecuting attorneys at ethics hearings before the Grievance Commission.
113. EVIDENCE. 4
An examination of the rules of evidence, focusing primarily on the Federal Rules of Evidence. Topics covered include: relevance, character evidence, hearsay and exceptions, confrontation, direct and cross examination, impeachment, rehabilitation, lay opinions, expert evidence, best evidence, authentication, and judicial notice.
237. FAMILY LAW. 3
An examination of the rights and obligations attending the status of marriage and its dissolution, rights and responsibilities arising from the family relationship, adoption, and child abuse.
399. FARM AND RANCH TAXATION. 2
This course is an introduction to the fundamental tax issues affecting farmers and ranchers. The overall goal of the course is to provide you with an understanding of how selected rules and concepts of federal tax law are applied in the agricultural sector. You will become familiar with rules and concepts in the area of income tax, entity selection and estate and gift tax. It is not possible to address all the intricacies of the tax laws in one course, but you will be exposed to a number of areas with the goal of helping you to identify and address issues you will face in your future practice. It will be assumed that students have had at least some prior exposure to the fundamentals of income taxation. Prerequisite: Federal Income Tax (LAW 208)
646. FARM BUREAU INTERNSHIP. 1-3
Farm Bureau is a non-profit, national agricultural member association that also has state level organizations. Students working at the state or national level can receive credit for work done as part of the organization legal or policy teams.
235. FEDERAL COURTS AND JURISDICTION. 3
An examination of the jurisdiction of the federal courts and the interrelationship of the federal and state judicial systems. Among areas studied in detail are justiciability (such as standing, ripeness, and political question doctrines), federal question and diversity jurisdiction, removal, and conflicts between federal and state courts (such as injunctions, abstention, and habeas corpus).
208. FEDERAL INCOME TAXATION. 4
An in-depth study of individual income tax concepts and rules, including gross income, deductions, exemptions, tax credits, the sale/exchange of assets, like-kind exchanges, involuntary conversions, and sale of personal residence. Course also offers an overview of tax accounting, tax litigation, employee benefits, the tax planning process, and an introduction to tax research.
609. FEDERAL PUBLIC DEFENDER INTERNSHIP. 3 CR/F
Students are exposed to the practical application of substantive law to the defense of criminal charges in the federal courts. Interns shadow a supervising attorney through at least one entire criminal proceeding, from arrest through appeal. Interns draft legal documents, interview witnesses and clients, and participate in plea bargaining.
399. FEDERAL SENTENCING LAW & PRACTICE. 1
Topics to be covered: Pre and post Booker sentencing: Mandatory v. advisory guidelines, Development and structure of the guidelines; Role of U.S. Probation Office, U.S. Attorney's Office, defense bar, and judge; Computing guideline ranges; Offense level computation; Criminal history of computation; Acceptance of responsibility; Obstruction of justice; The role of the victims; The role of the 18 W.S.C. 3553 (a) sentencing factors; Advocating mitigation and aggravation.
202. FEDERAL/STATE PRACTICE 1.
This course emphasizes critical differences in practicing in both state and federal courts. From pleadings to appeals, and everything in between, this course prepares students to practice in both systems with a concentration on overcoming pitfalls for the unwary.
265. FINANCIAL AND BUSINESS CONCEPTS FOR LAWYERS. 1
This course exposes students to basic financial concepts used in business. All law students should consider taking this course if they intend to work in a law firm or practice in the business environment, particularly if they do not have knowledge in financial, business or accounting concepts. The course will first overview business concepts including entity selection, financial statement basics, performance factors and how debt works. It will then discuss financial concepts such as time value of money, and apply these concepts to business applications such as valuation and buy-sell structures. Basic funding and financing concepts will be considered as well.
101. FIRST-YEAR TRIAL PRACTICUM. 0
The trial practicum adds an important experiential learning dimension to the first-year curriculum. Students observe a live jury trial in its entirety, which serves as an educational introduction to litigation and trial practice. The trial takes place in the court room of the Neal and Bea Smith Law Center. A combination of small group discussions, practice panels, lectures, and debriefings with litigants and jurors allow students to witness the integration of legal theory and law practice.
307. FIRST AMENDMENT SEMINAR. 3 N S
The following topics will be covered: free speech methodology, prior restraint, unprotected and less protected speech, places available for speech, freedom of association, freedom of the press, and the free exercise and establishment clauses. U.S. Supreme Court decisions are emphasized throughout the course. The course will also cover some secondary readings that help explicate the cases. Selected procedural concepts and judicial doctrines may also be considered. This is a seminar and the grade will be based primarily on a paper. Students will write a draft paper, and there will be feedback on the draft. This class may be used to fulfill the writing requirement.
230. FOOD AND THE LAW. 3
A comprehensive review of legal issues concerning the operation of America's food system. The course examines the role of law in shaping the food system and considers issues such as food safety and inspection, food labeling laws, systems to improve food quality, hunger relief programs, the relation between food production and environmental protection, organic food laws, and international trade and food safety standards.
801G. FOUNDATIONS OF LAW. 3 (M.J. and LL.M. Only)
This course introduces common law doctrines relevant to corporate liability, including basic concepts from contracts, sales, torts, and criminal law.
268. FUNDAMENTALS OF LEGAL INVESTIGATION. 2
This course focuses on skills and methods needed to fully obtain facts necessary to determine strategies and analyze possible outcomes for all stages of litigation, both criminal and civil. Detailed information on searching public records, Internet sites, and other document retrieval, as well as methods to locate and interview people, will be provided to students through an interactive format. This class will focus on parallel investigation skills, i.e., both paper and people. Students will learn the relationship between documents/physical evidence and the thorough, reliable interviewing of clients and witnesses.